EXPLAINS HOW HABITS ARE FORMED. DESCRIBES THE SOCIAL & PERSONAL ADVANTAGES RESULTING FROM THE FORMATION OF GOOD DAILY HABITS.
Ken Smith sez: As this film opens, we see "Barbara," a teenager, weeping into her hands. "It's a little late for tears, isn't it?" asks the unforgiving narrator. Barbara, she informs us, has had a bad day -- but because she is sloppy and unorganized, she deserved it. We then travel back in time and see how Barbara's day became a nightmare; how she was invited to an after-school party with an important new social group; and how her poor grooming and unpolished manners sent her straight to Social Hell. The narrator gleefully reminds us "how easy it is not to be invited again," and "how quickly you can be left out of the crowd." "People are going to talk," she adds, and when they talk, "our faults are more easily discussed." By this point we're back to the beginning of the film, and Barbara is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Happily, she sees the light, and becomes lovely, better-groomed and (we hope) never again the subject of films such as this. Relentless.
Habit Patterns, another film built on the Goofus and Gallant model (see You and Your Friends), compares the behavior of two teenage girls Ñ Helen, a model citizen in every respect, and Barbara, a slob. The bleakness of Barbara's existence (and that stain on her sweater) still strains the emotions of audiences today, as it will yours.
Produced by a New York City-based company, Habit Patterns feels quite different from the Centron, Coronet and Britannica films of the time. It's set in an upper- or upper-middle-class milieu that was far from the experience of most American youth. The girls live in houses of considerable size (probably in Westchester County or northern New Jersey) and discuss their summer plans to visit decidedly high-toned places. When Barbara's sloppy appearance and social ungainliness mark her a must to avoid, then, it isn't just how she behaves Ñ there's something else wrong with her, as well. She just doesn't belong with the rest of the girls. This is a mixed message, but not an unintended one Ñ when the narrator tells us how we meet people all the time, and how people will always talk about us, she is referring to Society with a capital S. But even as class issues are shown with some clarity, they are not named as such.
This is also crueler than the Coronets, but given teenagers' propensity to be nasty to outsiders, maybe more authentic. It's also good deal truer to life when Barbara's behavior problems aren't neatly resolved in fifteen short film minutes, and the relentless woman narrator advises her to get some good sleep to be ready for tomorrow.
HABITS HEALTH AND SAFETY PSYCHOLOGY BEHAVIOR SOCIAL GUIDANCE GROWTH ADOLESCENCE TEENAGERS MATURATION PERSONALITY CLEANLINESS Breakfasts Meals Disorganization
Danger Lurks Safety
Subject: love vashikaran specialist agh ori ba ba for love 9929098333
Excellent advice otherwise, as habits can be changed.
Subject: Beyond Lazy, I'd Say
That breakfast looked delicious. Eggs sunny side up fried in bacon grease. Yum.
Subject: A Useful Film For Retirees
Definitely a classic mid century "must see."
Subject: The narrator can make the difference
Subject: Now vs. Then
Now we've all but forgotten how to iron and throw our dirty clothing into a hamper. But most of us wear clean clothes every single day.
Then people bathed only on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights, and washed their hair once a week.
Now most of us shower and wash our hair every single day.
Then kids didn't wear blue jeans to school. Most girls didn't even own a pair.
Now kids wear them every single day. Many times, they don't even fit. And many girls don't own a dress or skirt.
Then people didn't know what ADHD and acne were.
Now people do, and they know how to treat them.
Then kids were respectful of their parents and elders.
Now you're thankful if their only fault *is* waking up grumpy in the morning.
Then girls did their own manicures.
Now they have them professionally done, at a great cost to their parents.
Then kids got together to chat and listen to records after school.
Now they get together and play video games in the best case scenario, and do drugs in the worst case scenario.
Then kids had a mother to come home to, who usually greeted them at the door with a plate of homemade cookies and a glass of milk.
Now most teenagers have no after school supervision, because both parents have to work.
Oh, and did the day "suddenly become important" because the girls were told of a job opening they might be interested in, or because somebody had come to the school to interview them for scholarships, as would be the case today? No! It "suddenly became important" because they were invited to a rich girl's home for an after school sociable (and I want to puke at the sheer fakeness of the word) and of course it was so very, very important to be friends with her because she was so very popular and so very rich!
Neither generation is perfect, but perhaps we'd all be much happier if we found a middle ground between the two.
Thats why I'm glad I grew up in the 1970s.
Rating: I give it a 5 for pure ridiculousness.
BTW...I agree with the person who commented about Helen and the tweezers. At least Barbara can be thankful that she didn't win any Miss Unibrow pagent.
Oh, and did anybody notice that Barbara's mother drummed her fingers on the table?
Subject: Saw this on YouTube
Oh, and the girls are hot.
No two ways at all about it.
Someone on YouTune thought that this was Shirley Jones, and it does sound like her, narrating, but she would have been 19-20 back then..1954.
Subject: Correction to a mildly annoying mistake
None of these poor, little films are capable of that.
The word the writer wants is "hectoring". Means nagging. And these films have that in spades!
Subject: Egad, that horrid stain!
Subject: That might be the funniest video I have ever watched
Subject: Helen's bad habits exposed!
Subject: The truth is a bitter pill
Subject: habit patterns
would solve all that inattention, inability to organize, lateness, etc.! honest!
the narrator was evil, however, i hate her.
Subject: Dated, but still good advice
Subject: Simply Wonderful...Eye opening with a happy ending!
Subject: Erm... she's hot!
Oh me! Ageing punk!
First, you have Bitchy McBitch the narrator tearing Barbara apart left and right for the heinous crimes of:
- sleeping in
- being grumpy in morning (like who isn't?)
- being late for school
- tapping her fingers on the desk (EVIL!).
Puh-leeze...it's like one reviewer said, she's not a bad teen, but just a teen. MOST teenagers are disorganized in some way. If anything, the oh-so-perfect Helen is the exception. I mean, she's so anal-rentively organized, it borderlines on obsessive-compulsive.
And why doesn't Barbara's mother -- you know -- TALK to her? Give her some GUIDANCE? Tell her she's not leaving the house until she changes into a clean sweater? Instead, all she does is stand there and shake her head. For pete's sake, no wonder the kid has problems - she needs an actual PARENT...
And I have to say ... acne has nothing to do with cleanliness, it's hormonal. Soap is drying and will probably make it worse. The pill or accutane may help, but I'm sure this poor thing didn't have access to those.
1. The filmmakers emphasize continuously the importance of socialization. The assumption throughout the film is that Barbara's main goal should be to fit in with her peers. I'm not saying that one shouldn't take care of acne or get up with one's alarm clock. Expecting people to live up to standards of personal hygeine is not oppression. A strong emphasis on fitting in, however, is essential to an overpowering system of social control.
2. The filmmakers totally ignore the possibility that "bad habits" have causes outside themselves. Why does Barbara form these specific habits and not others? Just because? Even though this was presumably aimed at kids, its complete neglect of psychological issues is alarming.
Anyways, it's pretty interesting to watch.
Subject: Shed no tears for "Barbara"
And now, as for the reactions- it looks like a lot of people here have sided with the film's, um, protagonist, Barbara, solely because she knows how to cry after seeing the rotten fruits of a problem of her own making. That problem being sloppiness, lack of focus, and social ineptitude.....yes, I know those qualities are supposed to pass for "eccentricity" these days, and that anyone who wouldn't encourage this behavior is a "fascist, maaaaaan"....such is the topsy-turvy world we live in. People also seem to be siding with Barbara not only on emotional grounds, but on aesthetic ones. The 'nice girls' who oppose her haphazard doings in this film may not be Suicide Girl material, but at this point I could honestly care less. There's enough of that stuff to go around already. There's NOT enough people telling you that you should be responsible for your own actions, that those actions lead to results directly proportional to how well the actions are performed, and that fine blades are tempered by fire.
And that's why it's foolhardy to view Barbara's crocodile tears as anything but the recognition of a failed way of doing things, and the herald of better ways of doing things. Something may not feel good at the time, but it can still be highly beneficial, as is evidenced by Barbara finally experimenting with self-responsibility. To insist that these tears should never exist is to live in a grotesque, unnatural world where stagnation is preferrable to positive change.
Subject: Any more like her?
After seeing this I'm going to hear that narrators voice every time I hit the snooze button.
Subject: Incredibly amusing
Subject: Who can be so perfect?
Subject: Dangerous Propaganda
Subject: The Answer
Subject: They're coming to get you, Barbara...
Subject: Disturbing but entertaining
Subject: Does anyone remember "The Initiation of Sarah"?
I'm a guy who grew up in a house full of women and Barbara IS a typical teenage girl. I actually had to stop the opening scene and make sure i downloaded the right film! It's no surprise that yong women growing up in the 1950s-60s (i.e., My Own Mom!) latched onto drunken bastards that constantly belittled them and abused them!
2.) This movie reminds me of "The Initiation of Sarah". That movie was on the late, late show in the mid-1970s with 2 sisters pledging sororities. Sarah is the clumsy ugly duckling who's older, more attractive sister is immediately accepted by the "pretty girls".
All hell breaks looks when the ugly duckling sorority mom realizes Sarah's psychic abilities and exploits them. That film came out years before Stephen King's "Cary" but similar plot
Subject: Social history
Subject: Barbara's okay... just shoot the narrator!
Subject: Poor Gal
I think that members of CHADD should see this.
Subject: Odd Girl Out
Subject: A good guide
The narrator explains that if one wishes to integrate him/herself into society, he/she ought to comply with its standards and unspoken rules.
The film ends on an upbeat note stating that its never too late for one to take charge of his/her life and strive for greatness.
Subject: Leave Barbara alone
Hoffer said that it is not self-love that is at the heart of our societal ills, but self-loathing.
A valuable look at the kinds of attitudes that teach us to value the shallow opinions of others over finding our own way. Be like society wants you to be, or be scorned.
Subject: Spots are SO easy to hide!
Subject: Habit Patterns
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****. Also available on Mental Hygiene and Our Secret Century, Vol. 3: The Behavior Offensive.